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London North Centre candidates square off in 980 CFPL election debate

Left to right: Salim Mansur (PPC), Carol Dyck (Green Party), Peter Fragiskatos (Liberal Party), Dirka Prout (NDP), and Sarah Bokhari (Conservative Party). .
Left to right: Salim Mansur (PPC), Carol Dyck (Green Party), Peter Fragiskatos (Liberal Party), Dirka Prout (NDP), and Sarah Bokhari (Conservative Party). . Andrew Graham/980 CFPL

London North Centre was brought into the spotlight on Tuesday morning as 980 CFPL hosted its third debate.

People’s Party candidate Salim Mansur, Green Party candidate Carol Dyck, Liberal incumbent Peter Fragiskatos, New Democrat candidate Dirka Prout, and Conservative candidate Sarah Bokhari squared off in downtown London on a variety of topics, including health care, the economy and foreign policy.

In one of CPFL’s testiest debates, Mansur opened his time with an attack on every other candidate.

READ MORE: London West candidates square off in 980 CFPL election debate

“Well, PPC is the only adult in this room,” he said. “We are headed on this government becoming a Greece, Italy, so we will reverse that.”

The Grits were a frequent target for Bokhari, who grilled Fragiskatos on Liberal foreign policy.

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“(Giving) taxpayer money to hostile regimes to Canada, the money is stuck in the corrupt hands and does not trickle down to the poor people,” said Bokhari.

Fragiskatos countered, saying the Liberals “do not work with dictators.”

“This is completely false and this is fear-mongering. You are dividing Canadians on a vital issue. Foreign aid is what defines our country, certainly in foreign policy terms. It is a proud Canadian value.”

Provincial politics also played a large role in the debate, with candidates bringing up both the current Progressive Conservative government and past Liberal governments in Ontario.

“Guaranteed income is an initiative worth looking at. Deeply troubling that Doug Ford cancelled that in Ontario, not to mention all the other cuts that are being made, that are having a negative impact,” Fragiskatos began.

Bokhari responded by asking him why he is “fixated” on Ford.

“Ms. Bokhari, you’ll have to allow me to finish the answer,” Fragiskatos said. “I’m fixated on Doug Ford because I see the results of cuts that are being made.”

READ MORE: London-Fanshawe candidates square off in 980 CFPL election debate

Mansur then brought up the former governments of Kathleen Wynne and Dalton McGuinty.

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“We saw four terms of the Kathleen Wynne government, McGuinty government and de-industrialization, of moving away from manufacturing from London.”

The Liberals also came under the cross-hairs of Carol Dyck, who called out what she called false claims from Fragiskatos.

“At recent debates, he claimed that the Green Party platform and climate action plan are just a, quote, ‘wish’ not based in reality and not compatible with advancing our economy and protecting Canadian workers.”

Prout, meanwhile, touted her own party’s platform, highlighting plans to create half a million units of affordable homes as well as “head to toe” health care.